If the above motto is not emblazoned over the entrance to CNBC world headquarters it should be because that is exactly what they do! Today is a perfect example. There really is not much going on save what should be the wrap up to a fairly routine Fed meeting, a meeting where no significant policy or rhetoric changes are expected.
Enter the ‘Bad News Bearer’
CNBC senior writer Jeff Cox is our favorite ‘bad news bearer’ as his inspirational commentary has graced the pages of kortsessions.com before (Session 38, June 6, 2013, “The Bad News Bearer”). Like “Mikey” of Life Cereal fame, Cox doesn’t like anything you serve him (marketwise) and he has pretty much been that way for as long as I’ve been posting (6 years). His worrisome counsel has been pretty useless. His article today (“The market could be setting itself up for a letdown from Wednesday’s Fed decision”) is a perfect example.
And so it goes … Jeff Cox and the minions at CNBC continue to pander to the dark side, the side of human nature that tends to flock to bad news while ignoring the plethora of economic and business positives right before our very eyes. Again, bad news sells … if it bleeds it leads. They sow the seeds of bad news where ever they can because your attention equals dollars in their pockets. Ignoring their siren calls to the dark side will put money in yours.
Importantly, it is not just CNBC using fear and negativity to hold your attention. It is endemic to most media sources!
What’s your take?
P.S. Nothing in Mr. Powell’s comments this afternoon represented any change from the dovish Fed policy. In fact it was a reinforcement. But market participants, both human and computerized variants, love to have things to obsess about. Today that ‘thing’ could have been comments by the Fed about world economies weakening. These may have been the trigger for the late day minor selloff in stocks and they may have been reinforced by FedEx CEO Fred Smith who echoed concerns about weakening foreign markets and the potential negative impact this may have on FedEx earnings (culprits–US/China trade friction and Brexit). None of this is new news (though the media may spin it that way), and in the case of trade issues may be solved sooner rather than later. With the election coming the president needs both a strong economy and strong market to secure reelection. In the case of Brexit the vote for extension of the time period to come up with a deal would seem to move it to the back burner as a concern for the market. Then again the selloff may simply have been selling on the good news. WHO KNOWS? I believe you just need to stay the course.
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